Europeans know how to do Christmas right. Let’s be honest. We’re obsessed with shopping, snowy weather, adorable Christmas market stalls, getting handmade goods, and drinking our weight in hot, mulled wine. There’s a way to celebrate a unique holiday cultural experience not too far from home. We’ve made a list of the best European Christmas markets in California this winter. 

Cambria Christmas Market

Price: $10 to $25 a person

When: November 29 - December 23 from 5 pm to 9 pm

Location: Cambria Pines Lodge, 2905 Burton Dr, Cambria, California

Why You Should Go: You can experience what Germany is like in the winter. The markets are full of magical sights, goodies, and Christmas cheer.


Sacramento Christkindlmarkt

Price: $5 admission 

When: December 8 from 11 am - 5 pm 

Location: Sacramento Turn Verein, 3349 J St, Sacramento, California

Why You Should Go: This winter market in Sacramento will make you feel like you’re actually in Germany. Visitors can create their own holiday ornaments, sample traditional foods and drinks, and listen to holiday music. 


German Holiday Market - Weihnachtsmarkt

Price: Free admission 

When: December 14 from 11 am to 9 pm

Location: City Hall Plaza, 500 Castro St., Mountain View, California

Why You Should Go: This festive market recreates the experience of open-air Christmas stalls found throughout Germany and Austria during the winter.


Alpine Village

Price: Free admission

When: Year-round

Location: 833 W Torrance Blvd, Torrance, California

Why You Should Go: You can come and experience a little slice of Bavaria in southern California at this year-round German market. There is traditional German food, a traditional beer hall, and plenty of adorable souvenirs that make the perfect stocking stuffers.


December Nights Balboa Park

Price: Free admission

When: Friday, December 6th from 3 pm to 11 pm and Saturday, December 7th from noon to 11 pm

Location: Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Why You Should Go: You can come and enjoy San Diego’s largest international Christmas festival. There are beautiful lights, themed market stalls, and delicious food and goods from all over the world.


Swedish Christmas Fair Old World

Price: $5 admission

When: November 24 from 11 am to 5 pm

Location: Old World, Huntington Beach, California

Why You Should Go: This traditional festival brings God Jul to southern California with handmade crafts, a glogg bar, traditional Swedish food, crafts, and dancing around the Christmas tree.


The Swedish Christmas Fair

Price: $10 admission

When: December 8 from 10 am to 5 pm

Location: Torrance Cultural Art Center, 3330 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, California

Why You Should Go: You can explore a traditional Swedish Christmas market right in the heart of LA County. There’s even a beautiful Lucia arrangement and holiday choir.


This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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